Faith & the Muse

  • Faith & the Muse
  • Elyria (Tess) 1994 

Elyria, Faith & the Muse’s contribution to the Southern California goth scene, proves it worthy of a more careful listen than most of the band’s black-shrouded peers. Founders Monica Richards (ex-Strange Boutique) and William Faith (who has played in such leading acts as Christian Death and Sex Gang Children) skillfully combine haunting romanticism with Celtic melodies and loads of airy atmospherics — an amazingly intoxicating mix. Richards has a powerful mezzo-soprano, which she uses to sound otherworldly and mythical one moment (“Mercyground”) and mischievous and slightly dangerous the next (“Vervain”). Faith’s one vocal showcase, “The Trauma Coil,” is a thundering song creepy and shadowy enough to be a holdover from his Christian Death years. Pretty instrumentals (especially “Interlude: Annabell,” a meandering, mesmerizing acoustic guitar track) help make Elyria seem even more distant and misty.

[Katherine Yeske]

See also: Christian Death